Daily Current Affairs : 25th 26th and 27th September

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

  1. United in Science Report
  2. Nuclear Suppliers Group
  3. Higher Education Bill
  4. PM EAC
  5. Tuberculosis India Report 2019
  6. Impeachment of US President
  7. Quantum Supremacy
  8. 1267 Committee
  9. Coastal Regulation Zone Rules
  10. Japanese Encephalitis, Aspergers Syndrome, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, Ramanujan Prize, Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation, Quitline, Project Netra

1 . United in Science Report

Context : The average global temperature for 2015-2019 is on track to be the warmest of any equivalent period on record, and July 2019 was the hottest month on record globally, a report released ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York has found.

About the Report

  • The report ‘United in Science’ is a synthesis prepared by the Science Advisory Group of the United Nations Climate Action Summit

Details of the Report

  • Report has found that greenhouse gases have reached “new highs”, heatwaves were the “deadliest” meteorological hazard in this period, and tropical cyclones led to the largest economic losses.

Key Findings

  • Global Temperature : The average global temperature for 2015-19 is currently estimated to be 1.1°C above pre-industrial (1850-1900) times, the report said. Widespread and long-lasting heatwaves, record-breaking fires and other devastating events such as tropical cyclones, floods and drought have had major impacts on socio-economic development and the environment.
  • Greenhouse Gases : Levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have reached new highs. The last time Earth’s atmosphere contained 400 parts per million carbon dioxide was about 3-5 million years ago. In 2018, the report said, global carbon dioxide concentration was 407.8 parts per million (ppm), 2.2 ppm higher than 2017. Preliminary data from a subset of monitoring sites for 2019 indicate that carbon dioxide concentrations are on track to reach or even exceed 410 ppm by the end of 2019.
    • US and the European Union have declined over the past decade, while growth in China’s emissions have slowed significantly compared to the 2000s.
    • Indian emissions are the fourth highest and are “growing strongly at annual rates in excess of 5%, albeit starting from a much lower base of per capita emissions.”
  • Heatwaves : The report notes that heatwaves affected all continents and set many new national temperature records. It also mentions the heatwave that struck the subcontinent in mid-2015 where 2,248 deaths were reported in India, and 1,229 in Pakistan. “The 2019 summer saw unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic region with 50 megatons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in June alone,” the report says.
  • Precipitation : The effects of climate change were also seen on precipitation levels in the 2015-2019 period when compared to the five years preceding that. The average precipitation totals were higher in the latter period than in the former in large regions in southern South and North America, eastern Europe and most of Asia. “In contrast, less precipitation fell in large parts of Europe, south-west and southern Africa, northern North America and a large part of South America, the Indian Monsoon region, and northern and western Australia,” the report states.
  • Sea Ice : Arctic summer sea-ice extent has declined at a rate of approximately 12% per decade during 1979-2018, the report said. The four lowest values for winter sea-ice extent occurred between 2015 and 2019. Overall, the amount of ice lost annually from the Antarctic ice sheet increased at least six-fold between 1979 and 2017. Glacier mass loss for 2015-2019 is the highest for any five-year period on record

2 . Nuclear Suppliers Group

Context : Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in New York


  • Negotiated in 1968, the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) granted non-nuclear-weapon states access to nuclear materials and technology for strictly peaceful purposes.
  • Several NPT nuclear supplier states sought to determine the conditions for sharing specific equipment and materials with non-nuclear-weapon states.
  • In 1971, these supplier states formed the Zangger Committee in order to require states outside the NPT to institute International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards before importing certain items that could be used to pursue nuclear weapons—referred to as the “Trigger List.”
  • India’s explosion of a nuclear device in 1974 reaffirmed the fact that nuclear materials and technologies acquired under the guise of peaceful purposes could be diverted to build weapons.
  • In response to India’s action, several Zangger Committee members, along with France—who was not a member of the NPT at that time—established the NSG to further regulate nuclear-related exports.
  • The NSG also added supplemental technologies to the original Zangger Committee’s “Trigger List,” becoming Part I of the NSG Guidelines. In addition, NSG members agreed to apply their trade restrictions to all states, not just those outside the NPT.

About Nuclear Suppliers Group

  • Established in 1975, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is comprised of 48 states that have voluntarily agreed to coordinate their export controls to non-nuclear-weapon states.
  • The NSG governs the transfers of civilian nuclear material and nuclear-related equipment and technology.
  • The participants are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • The NSG aims to prevent nuclear exports for commercial and peaceful purposes from being used to make nuclear weapons.
  • In order to ensure that their nuclear imports are not used to develop weapons, NSG members are expected to forgo nuclear trade with governments that do not subject themselves to confidence-building international measures and inspections.
  • The NSG has two sets of Guidelines listing the specific nuclear materials, equipment, and technologies that are subject to export controls.
    • Part I lists materials and technology designed specifically for nuclear use. These include fissile materials, nuclear reactors and equipment, and reprocessing and enrichment equipment. First published in 1978, Part I responded to India’s 1974 diversion of nuclear imports for supposedly peaceful purposes to conduct a nuclear explosion. To be eligible for importing Part I items from an NSG member, states must have comprehensive IAEA safeguards covering all their nuclear activities and facilities. In the case of Part II goods, IAEA safeguards are only required for the specific nuclear activity or facility designated for the import.
    • Part II identifies dual-use goods; non-nuclear items with legitimate civilian applications that can also be used to develop weapons. Machine tools and lasers are two types of dual-use goods. NSG members adopted Part II in 1992 after discovering how close Iraq came to realizing its nuclear weapons ambitions. Iraq had illicitly employed dual-use imports in a covert nuclear weapons program before the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Membership Criteria: Factors taken into account for membership include the following:

  • The ability to supply items (including items in transit) covered by the annexes to Parts 1 and 2 of the NSG Guidelines
  • Adherence to the Guidelines and action in accordance with them
  • Enforcement of a legally based domestic export control system which gives effect to the commitment to act in accordance with the Guidelines
  • Full compliance with the obligations of one or more of the following: the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Treaties of Pelindaba, Rarotonga, Tlatelolco, Bangkok, or an equivalent international nuclear nonproliferation agreement
  • Support of international efforts towards nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of their delivery vehicles

Importance of NSG Membership for India

  • Access to technology for a range of uses from medicine to building nuclear power plants for India from the NSG which is essentially a traders’ cartel. India has its own indigenously developed technology but to get its hands on state of the art technology that countries within the NSG possess, it has to become part of the group.
  • With India committed to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and ensuring that 40% of its energy is sourced from renewable and clean sources, there is a pressing need to scale up nuclear power production. This can only happen if India gains access to the NSG. Even if India today can buy power plants from the global market thanks to the one time NSG waiver in 2008, there are still many types of technologies India can be denied as it is outside the NSG.
  • India could sign the Nuclear non proliferation treaty and gain access to all this know how but that would mean giving up its entire nuclear arsenal. Given that it is situated in an unstable and unpredictable neighbourhood India is unlikely to sign the NPT or accede to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that puts curbs on any further nuclear tests
  • With access to latest technology, India can commercialize the production of nuclear power equipment. This, in turn will boost innovation and high tech manufacturing in India and can be leveraged for economic and strategic benefits.
  • Having the ability to offer its own nuclear power plants to the world means spawning of an entire nuclear industry and related technology development. This could give the Make in India programme a big boost.
  • Should India get membership to the NSG, it can block Pakistan from its membership as entry into the grouping is by consensus only. This is one of the reasons why China is pushing to include Pakistan as well as pointing out that India as a non signatory to the NPT cannot be a member. It comes down to a power game—keep India out and deny it access to various technologies. India’s contention is that its nuclear technologies are indigenously developed and it has a clean non proliferation record unlike Pakistan whose non proliferation record was tainted with the revelations that its nuclear scientist A.Q Khan sold nuclear technologies to countries such as North Korea.

3 . Higher Education Bill

Context : A Bill that aims to create a single regulator for higher education, replacing the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), is likely to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament.

About the Bill

  • Bill proposes to bring almost all areas of higher education — including technical, architectural and legal courses — under the ambit of a single umbrella body.
  • Medical education, however, will not come under the proposed Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), according to the draft Bill.
  • The new version of the legislation has also removed a controversial proposal to move grant disbursal authority from autonomous bodies and bring it directly under the control of the Human Resource Development Minister. Instead, a new autonomous body will be created to supervise the doling out of funds to higher education institutions
  • UGC and AICTE are autonomous bodies which oversee the accreditation, regulation and maintenance of teaching, examination and research standards for universities and technical education institutions across the country. These academic functions will now be moved to the new HECI, as proposed in the draft Bill. Fund disbursal to colleges ad universities will be done by an autonomous body
  • Other changes include an increase in the number of State representatives in the HECI, to counter fears of states losing their autonomy. The new version of the Bill also removes the requirement that existing institutions must take permission from HECI for their current courses.

4 . PM EAC

Context : The government has reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC or EAC-PM), dropping Rathin Roy and Shamika Ravi as part-time members. Bibek Debroy, who was appointed Chairman of the Council in 2017, continues in his post.

About PM EAC & its Functions

  • According to its archived website, the Council was set up “with a view to provide a sounding board for inculcating awareness in government on the different point of view on key economic issues”.
  • Its functions included “analysing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him thereon”; “addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and presenting views thereon to the Prime Minister”, either on its own or upon reference; and presenting to the PM from time to time reports on “macroeconomic developments and issues with implications for economic policy”.

Establishment of PM EAC

  • The PMEAC came into existence over three and a half decades ago, against the backdrop of a difficult economic situation.
  • Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who had returned to power in 1980, faced formidable economic challenges. The global oil shock and drought had led to a decline in the national income, and soaring prices.
  • In this situation, Finance Minister R Venkataraman stressed to the PM the need to arrest the slide and set the economy on the path to stability and growth.
  • Indira decided to rope in Prof Sukhamoy Chakravarty, a man who had taught alongside Amartya Sen and Manmohan Singh at the Delhi School of Economics, and who had, in the mid-1970s, headed the Policy Perspective Division in the Planning Commission.
  • In the initial years of its existence, the members of the Council included the famed economist K N Raj, besides C Rangarajan, who would later become the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and Vijay Kelkar, who was the first Secretary of the PMEAC during 1982-83. Chakravarty, who briefed the Prime Minister occasionally on the state of the economy, continued in the post after Rajiv Gandhi succeeded Indira in 1984

5 . Tuberculosis India Report 2019

Context : Notified cases increase by 16%: Tuberculosis India Report 2019. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launched the ‘TB HaregaDesh Jeetega’ campaign along with the National Tuberculosis (TB) Prevalence Survey.

About the Report

  • India TB Report is released by the Govt

Key Findings of the Report

  • In 2018, the Revised National Tuberculosis Programme (RNTBP) was able to achieve notification by 21.5 lakh persons, which is an increase of 16% as compared to 2017 and the highest so far
  • The estimated TB incidence in India stands at 27 lakh. There are still 5.5 lakh TB patients in our country whom we are not being able to find.
  • Notification of TB from private sector healthcare providers reached 5.4 lakh persons — an increase of 40%, contributing to 25% of all TB notifications.
  • Overall, the TB burden in India is highest in Uttar Pradesh. India’s largest state, accounting for 17 per cent the country’s population, contributed 20 per cent of total TB notified patients
  • TB is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among People Living with HIV (PLHIV). This group is 21 times more likely to develop TB than persons without the virus. TB-HIV co-infection results in higher mortality rates. Nearly 25 per cent of all deaths among PLHIV are estimated to be due to TB
  • The report says that more than 5 lakh cases of TB can be attributed to diabetes. “Diabetes increases the risk of developing TB by nearly two-three times.
  • Another worrying aspect that has come out in this year’s report is the fact that the percentage of pediatric tuberculosis (TB among the population aged less than 15 years) cases have also slightly gone up.
  • One of the biggest concerns is drug resistant tuberculosis. There are 1,14,237 MDR-TB (multi-drug resistant TB) patients globally, of which, more than 8,000 are XDR-TB (extensive drug resistant TB), according to the 2018 World Health Organization TB update. India has 26,966 MDR-TB patients, the highest in the world, while there are 2,130 XDR-TB patients in the country.
  • According to the India TB Report 2019, the success rate of treatment of drug resistant TB patients has remained stagnant at 47 per cent, the same as in last year’s report.

Nikshay Poshan Yojana

  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana is a direct benefit transfer scheme, to provide nutritional support to TB patients.
  • Under the scheme, TB patients receive ₹500 per month for the entire duration of treatment.

6 . Impeachment of US President

Context : Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would launch an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, over his alleged efforts efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, Trump’s potential rival in the 2020 elections.

About Impeachment

  • Impeachment is a provision that allows Congress to remove the President of the United States.
  • Under the US Constitution, the House of Representatives (Lower House) has the “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”.
  • The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.

Grounds for impeachment

  • The President can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. What constitutes these “high crimes” and “misdemeanors” (misdemeanors), however, is not clearly spelt out.
  • The New York Times explained that the expression “high crimes and misdemeanors” came out of the British common law tradition. “Essentially, it means an abuse of power by a high-level public official. This does not necessarily have to be a violation of an ordinary criminal statute.
  • Historically, in the US, it has encompassed corruption and other abuses, including trying to obstruct judicial proceedings.

Impeachment history

  • No US President has ever been removed as a direct result of impeachment. The House did impeach two Presidents — Andrew Johnson (1968) and Bill Clinton (1998) — but the Senate did not convict them. In between, President Richard Nixon (1974) resigned before he could be removed.

The process

  • House Vote : It begins with an investigation by a House committee. In the Nixon and Clinton cases, the House Judiciary Committee held that investigation and recommended articles of impeachment to the full House. In Trump’s case, six committees are investigating him on impeachable offences. If they find that there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, it will refer the matter to the full House (see flow chart).
  • House Vote: When the full House votes, if one or more of the articles of impeachment gets a majority vote, the President is impeached. Next, the proceedings move to the Senate.
  • Senate Trial and Vote : The Senate holds a trial, overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors. The President has defence lawyers, and the Senate serves as the jury. If at least two-thirds of the Senators present find the President guilty, he is removed and the Vice President takes over as President.

7 . Quantum Supremacy

Context : Financial Times published from the UK reported that a draft research paper claimed Google researchers have achieved a long-sought-after goal in physics called “quantum supremacy”

About Quantum Supremacy

  • Quantum supremacy refers to a quantum computer solving a problem that cannot be expected of a classical computer in a normal lifetime. This relates to the speed at which a quantum computer performs.
  • According to reports the quantum processor took 200 seconds to perform a calculation that the world’s fastest supercomputer, Summit, would have taken 10,000 years to accomplish.
  • The phrase “quantum supremacy” was coined in 2011 by John Preskill, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology 
  • What differentiates a quantum computer from a traditional computer is the way the two store information. The former stores information in the form of bits that can take only two values, zero or one, whereas a quantum computer stores it in the form of quantum bits (qubits) that can take on various combinations of zero and one.

8 . 1267 Committee

Context : The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 Committee has allowed Pakistan-based UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed limited access to his otherwise sanctioned bank account.

1267 Sanction

  • The 1267 sanctions regime was initially based on three UNSC resolutions.
    • First, UNSCR 1267 (1999), adopted following the Al-Qaeda attacks on United States (US) embassies in East Africa, imposed a limited air embargo and assets freeze on individuals and entities connected with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    • Second, UNSCR 1333 (2000), extended those sanctions to individuals and entities associated with Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. This regime evolved to include asset freezes, travel bans and arms embargoes against individuals and entities named on the 1267 Sanctions List, without the requirement of any territorial connection and for a potentially unlimited period of time (UNSCR 1390 (2002)). A Sanctions Committee was established to oversee the regime. In 2011, UNSCR 1988 split the regime in two: a new Taliban sanctions regime was established alongside the Al-Qaida sanctions regime.
    • Finally, UNSCR 2253 (2015) extended the Al-Qaida Sanctions List to individuals and entities connected with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), changing the title of the Sanctions Committee3 and of the Sanctions List, now the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
  • Under the listing procedure, any UN member state may submit names to the Sanctions Committee to request their inclusion on the Sanctions List. The committee approves or rejects the listing requests, unless a UNSC member objects within a certain period. Once an individual or entity is placed on the Sanctions List, all UN member states are obliged to implement the asset freeze, arms embargo and travel ban against them

9 . Coastal Regulation Zone Rules

Context : CRZ rules is very much in news due to the Supreme Court verdict to demolish flats in Kerala which violated the rules

About CRZ Rules

  • CRZ Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea.
  • The Rules, mandated under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, were first framed in 1991.
  • They sought to restrict certain kinds of activities, like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, or reclamation and bunding, within a certain distance from the coastline.
  • The basic idea is: because areas immediately next to the sea are extremely delicate, home to many marine and aquatic life forms, both animals and plants, and are also threatened by climate change, they need to be protected against unregulated development.
  • In all CRZ Rules, the regulation zone has been defined as the area up to 500 m from the high-tide line. Several kinds of restrictions apply, depending on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.

Evolution of Rules

  • Despite several amendments, states found the 1991 Rules to be extremely restrictive. 
  • Centre notified fresh CRZ Rules in 2011, which addressed some concerns. An exemption was made for the construction of the Navi Mumbai airport. Projects of the Department of Atomic Energy, which plans to set up nuclear power plants near the coast, were exempted.
  • In 2014 the Environment Ministry set up a six-member committee under then Earth Sciences Secretary Shailesh Nayak to give suggestions for a new set of CRZ Rules. The committee submitted its report in 2015. Simultaneously, the Chennai-based National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management defined a new high-tide line along India’s entire coastline to remove ambiguities. Separately, the Survey of India defined a hazard line along the coasts — to be used mainly for disaster management planning.
  • Based on these and other inputs, the Environment Ministry issued fresh CRZ Rules in December 2018, which removed certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.

What areas are designated as CRZ as per 2011 Notification

  1. Land area from High Tide Line to 500 mts on the landward side along the sea front.
  2. Land area between HTL to 100 mts or width of the creek whichever is less on the landward side along the tidal influenced water bodies.
  3. Land area falling between the hazard line and 500 mts from HTL on the landward side, in case of seafront and between the hazard line and 100 mts in case of tidal influenced water body.
  4. The land area between HTL and Low Tide Line
  5. The water and bed area between LTL to the territorial water limit in case of the sea and the water and the bed area between LTL at the bank to the LTL in the opposite side of the bank, of tidal influenced water bodies.

Classification of CRZ as per 2011 Notification

  • CRZ-I: The areas that are ecologically sensitive and where the geomorphological features play a role in maintaining the integrity of the coast (Example : Mangroves, corals, sand dunes, biologically active mudflats etc.). This also includes the area between the Low Tide Line and the High Tide Line.
  • CRZ-II: The areas that have been developed up to or close to the shoreline.
  • CRZ-III : Areas that are relatively undisturbed and those do not belong to either CRZ-I or II which include coastal zone in the rural areas and also areas within municipal limits or in other legally designated urban area which are not substantially built up.
  • CRZ-IV: This includes the water area from the Low Tide Line to 12 NM on the seaward side, as well as the water area of the tidal influenced water body from the mouth of the water body at the sea up to the influence of tide.

Classification of CRZ as per 2018 notification

CRZ Notification 2019

  • Allowing FSI as per current norms in CRZ areas: As per CRZ, 2011 Notification, for CRZ-II (Urban) areas, Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) had been frozen as per 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels. In the CRZ, 2018 Notification, it has been decided to de-freeze the same and permit FSI for construction projects, as prevailing on the date of the new Notification. This will enable redevelopment of these areas to meet the emerging needs.
  • Densely populated rural areas to be afforded greater opportunity for development: For CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have now been stipulated as below:
    • CRZ-III A – These are densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall have a No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the HTL as against 200 meters from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011 since such areas have similar characteristics as urban areas.
    • CRZ-III B – Rural areas with population density of below 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200 meters from the HTL.
  • Tourism infrastructure for basic amenities to be promoted: Temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc. have now been permitted in Beaches. Such temporary tourism facilities are also now permissible in the “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of the CRZ-III areas as per the Notification. However, a minimum distance of 10 m from HTL should be maintained for setting up of such facilities.
  • CRZ Clearances streamlined: The procedure for CRZ clearances has been streamlined. Only such projects/activities, which are located in the CRZ-I (Ecologically Sensitive Areas) and CRZ IV (area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 Nautical Miles seaward) shall be dealt with for CRZ clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The powers for clearances with respect to CRZ-II and III have been delegated at the State level with necessary guidance.
  • A No Development Zone (NDZ) of 20 meters has been stipulated for all Islands: For islands close to the main land coast and for all Backwater Islands in the main land, in wake of space limitations and unique geography of such regions, bringing uniformity in treatment of such regions, NDZ of 20 m has been stipulated.
  • All Ecologically Sensitive Areas have been accorded special importance: Specific guidelines related to their conservation and management plans have been drawn up as a part of the CRZ Notification.
  • Pollution abatement has been accorded special focus: In order to address pollution in Coastal areas treatment facilities have been made permissible activities in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.
  • Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation. 

Special CRZ rules for specific coastal areas?

  • Kerala because of its unique coastal systems of backwater and backwater islands, certain activities are regulated.
  • Goa : owing to its past history and other developments, certain additional activities are also regulated.
  • In addition to these two states, critical vulnerable coastal areas are also identified such as the Sunderbans and other ecologically sensitive areas which are to be managed with the involvement of the local coastal communities.

10 . Facts for Prelims

Japanese Encephalitis

  • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses, and is spread by mosquitoes.
  • JEV is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many countries of Asia.
  • Although symptomatic Japanese encephalitis (JE) is rare, the case-fatality rate among those with encephalitis can be as high as 30%. Permanent neurologic or psychiatric sequelae can occur in 30%–50% of those with encephalitis.
  • There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving severe clinical signs and supporting the patient to overcome the infection.
  • Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent JE.

Aspergers Syndrome

  • Asperger’s syndrom is one of a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that have effects on an individual’s behavior, use of language and communication, and pattern of social interactions.
  • Asperger’s syndrome is named for Dr. Hans Asperger, an Austrian pediatrician, who first described the condition in 1944
  • Asperger disorder was formerly characterized as one distinct autism spectrum disorder
  • There is still some controversy as to whether Asperger’s syndrome should be regarded as a separate clinical entity or simply represents a high-functioning form of autism.
  • In the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published in May 2013, Asperger’s syndrome and autistic disorder have been combined into one condition for diagnostic purposes, known as ASD
  • People with Asperger’s syndrome typically have normal to above-average intelligence but typically have difficulties with social interactions and often have pervasive, absorbing interests in special topics.

Dada Saheb Phalke Award

  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the highest award of Indian cinema. It is given by the Government Of India.
  • The award honours Dadasaheb Phalke’s contribution to Indian cinema.
  • Phalke is known as “The Father of Indian Cinema”.
  • The first recipient of the award was Devika Rani
  • Amitabh Bachchan has been selected for the Dada Saheb Phalke award for the year 2018 for his contribution to the Indian film industry.

Ramanujan Prize

  • Every year, this prize is awarded by SASTRA University
  • The prize carries a citation and an award of $10,000 and is conferred annually on mathematicians from across the world who are less than 32 years of age, working in an area influenced by the genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.
  • The age limit is 32 years to commemorate the fact that Srinivasa Ramanujan accomplished a phenomenal body of work in this short span.

Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation (FIPIC)

  • Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation (FIPIC) is a multinational grouping developed in 2014 for cooperation between India and 14 Pacific Islands nations which include Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


  • Union government’s tobacco Quitline is for counselling in south Indian languages.
  • It is monitored by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).
  • All tobacco products today have message: ‘QUIT TODAY – CALL 1800-11-2356’. A user comfortable with Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil, is diverted to the southern cell, runs by NIMHANS in Bengaluru.

Project Netra

  • ‘Project NETRA’ – an early warning system in space to detect debris and other hazards to Indian satellites.
  • When in place, will give India its own capability in space situational awareness (SSA) like the other space powers — which is used to ‘predict’ threats from debris to Indian satellites. It also goes so far as to serve as an unstated warning against missile or space attack for the country,
  • SSA will first be for low-earth orbits or LEO which have remote-sensing spacecraft. Under NETRA, or Network for space object Tracking and Analysis, the ISRO plans to put up many observational facilities: connected radars, telescopes; data processing units and a control centre. They can, among others, spot, track and catalogue objects as small as 10 cm, up to a range of 3,400 km and equal to a space orbit of around 2,000 km.
  • NETRA’s eventual goal is to capture the GEO, or geostationary orbit, scene at 36,000 km where communication satellites operate.

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